A People Centred
Response for Recovery
Whilst the current Covid-19 crisis has brought untold personal, social and economic tragedy, we also want to know how people's lifestyles have changed and what opportunies there might be for people-centred reinvention.
This interactive document tells the tale of reinvention through 3 sections:
Results from our survey of lifestyle changes from Northern Ireland in Lockdown
5 themes to lead a people-centred recovery
 3 tools to help you deliver  change
This document is the start of a unique collaboration.

Click through the results of our survey and subsequent recommendations to find out the key insights and opportunies for building back better.

Through each section you are invited to add your thoughts, perspectives and ideas. And please leave us your details to be involved as the collaboration grows!
Number of people who answered the survey
from 4th May - 14th May
Women 72%
Men 27%
Community Spirit
is on a high!
“The community is more
resilient (emotionally and
physically) than we think!”
(community worker, 30s)
of people agreed that their
community had rallied to
support those in need
felt they had made
new connections
(32% hadn’t)
“I have loved the sense of
harmony amongst my family and
the local community - taking
time... and talking more instead
of rushing past each other.”
(key worker, 20s)
41.5% felt more involved in their local community whilst 29.4% felt there had been no change and 27.7% didn’t feel more involved in their local community
And localism benefits
More than Twice
as many people
now take note of where their
food comes from (132 vs 62).
of people now get their produce
from local suppliers vs 16% who
don’t. 65% of people want this to
continue after lockdown.
“It's nice to see we still
value local producers.”
Olivia, North Belfast
“I’ve started a new business delivering
food to people around the city,
something I wanted to do for a long
time but never had the courage.”
Chef, East Belfast
The environmental benefits are abundantly clear
“I’ve noticed less
noise from no air
traffic and less cars”
Amy, East Belfast
liked the reduced cars on the
road under lockdown whilst
68% noticed a clear difference
in how clean the streets felt.
noticed an obvious difference in
air quality whilst 65% have
become more aware of
issues and their impact
on everyday life.
“My asthma symptoms
have improved”
North Belfast resident
I have taken time to focus on myself - as I now have some free time due to less travel for work
Rethinking reliance
on transport
Nearly twice
as many people
realised they are less reliant on their
car than they thought (144 vs 78)
However, 5 times
as many people
realised they were not reliant
on public transport (157 vs 29)
Recognition of the impact on physical and mental health
My mental health has suffered. I have
anxiety over leaving the house and
feel unsafe in close proximity to people.
I have very limited ability to focus on
tasks and structure my days.
of people have become more
aware of public health issues
and the areas of life they affect
Anxiety is on the up with 52% of
people agreeing their anxiety has
increased vs 28% who disagree
It’s made me
realise health is my
number 1 priority
But people are generally
surprised by how well they have
taken the restrictions (69%)
What people said they missed most
People have used
extra time on
personal development
have spent more quality time
with the people they live with
of people have discovered
a new technology
of people have
taken up a new hobby
of furloughed workers have said
they have gained a different
perspective on things or
realised what’s important.
Cultural activity has taken a hit... and may continue to do so
At the same time 45% have
managed to find cultural
alternatives vs
27% who have struggled
‘I have really valued the
time at home with my
family and not feeling so
pressured through work.”
(furloughed worker, 50s)
"I can't wait to go back
out to live gigs and
dancing! But think it
might be a while yet..."
of people are concerned about
returning to cultural venues
and crowded places once
lockdown ends
Twice as many people
feel they have struggled
without their usual cultural
stimulation (80 vs 160)
of people haven’t paid or
donated for online cultural
content vs 32% of people
who have
We saw a full range of archetypes
for how the restrictions are affecting us…
What camp do you fit into?
I’m worse off financially than before
I’m better off financially than before
I’m healthier than ever
I’m more unhealthy than ever
I feel more stressed
I’m more calm and reflective
When it’s over I’m going on a social ‘binge’
When it’s over I’m going to keep a lot of ‘homely’ habits
I’ve been really productive
I’ve had time to reflect
Life is busier than ever at the moment
People noticed significant changes
over the last 2 months...
People are more open to
helping others and looking
after their mental health
I have
more money
It is much calmer
and I like that - I was
too busy before
My mood and
productivity level. Both
for the good and the bad
Having to live more in the day.
Less FOMO. More frequent contact
with family online and phone. Guilt
about how to help elderly parents
I have become more
aware of how much of
an effect privilege has.
How there needs to
be more financial help
for those who are
considered 'essential'
workers, and less
virtue signalling to
hide the fact they
are still paid less
than they should be.
Much happier, much less anxious, much calmer
and more productive. I'm really enjoying the
silence and new routine of working from home
and feel my health has really benefited
Feel calmer and
less stressed
..And positive impacts
Spending quality
time with children
and making use
of our own garden
and area around
the house
Nice to chill
out a bit
The community is more
resilient (emotionally and
physically) than we think!
Street bingo - brings
everyone together and
helps with loneliness for
people who live alone
Safer, quieter, cleaner, more
pleasant streetscapes for walking,
cycling and being in with kids.
Less focus on material
things and more
focus on time spent
well with people.
I have really valued the time at
home with my family and not
feeling so pressured through
work and other commitments.
The road to reinvention
5 themes to
build back better
From our survey and research from around the world we’ve developed 5 themes that can help us to rethink how we might build back better.

Click through the interactive content to understand what is important, what questions we should be asking, what others around the world are doing, what resources and tools we have available to us and ideas for what we can do now and in the future.

This is an evolving and collaborative document, so please add your thoughts, suggestions and ideas in the relevant places!
Culture and creativity
to lead reinvention
Going hyper-local
through placemaking and
community cohesion
Time to act on
climate change
Reframe our thinking
on social issues
A focus on wellbeing
Culture and creativity to lead re-invention
Our cultural sector is fragile. Frail finances, immeasurable metrics and inherently social setups have put culture at risk. Yet we believe culture and creativity is key to our reinvention:
To communicate the abstract
To challenge the norm
To innovate and invent
To give our cities life & identity
of people are concerned
about returning to cultural
venues and crowded
places once lockdown ends
Key Questions
>How do we measure the impact on the creative industries?

>What is the cost, both social and economic, of the loss of cultural assets? What is the intrinsic value of culture and the arts?

>As more cultural content moves online, how do we establish value and fair economic mechanisms?

>How do we improve employment conditions for creatives who are often on the most fragile contracts?

>How might we accelerate new forms of creativity and culture and improve access to all?

>How do we ensure relief packages are open to all and don’t deepen inequality and exclusion?

>How can we accelerate the use of arts and culture to promote sustainable neighbourhood tourism?
What we could do:
2 steps forward…
2 metres apart
Change of use and incentives to reframe vacant commercial & retail spaces to creative and cultural pursuits
Open calls and investment for creative industries to lead on post covid challenges.
Supporting cultural organisations and individuals in new value and costing models (paid vs unpaid, psychology of donations to tickets, subscription models?)
Maintain new audiences gained from online transition
Significant Investment into threatened grassroots culture
Invest in skills of the sector for digital content production (R & D for piloting new ways of working and experiencing that's fit for purpose)
Accept that not all forms of cultural activity will translate online and adapt!
Accessible tech and equipment library (Access to high quality equipment to produce, how can we support?)
Where possible, provide digital alternative as part of cultural programming
Improve consistency in access - One platform fits all.
Going hyper-local through placemaking and community cohesion
Reclaiming cities for people
Better density, not less density
Walkable, cyclable infrastructure
Temporary installations to inform strategic visions
Economic resilience through local produce
Key Questions
What can we do to repurpose and maintain the vibrancy of our city centre?

What kinds of things do people need in their neighbourhood to support new ways of working?

What could we easily do or test out now, that could signal a longer term shift towards better places and communities?

How can we continue to support local producers and makers that are invested in the area and have a value that extends way beyond creating jobs and filling our coffee cups?
Only 12.5% of people don’t
want to find more time to
support their local community
of people will support
local businesses,
even if it costs more
What we could do:
2 steps forward…
2 metres apart
Plan neighbourhood nucleus around 10 minute walkable neighbourhoods
Reimagine new live/work models of housing and workplaces
Reframe ‘grey’ spaces (car parks, abandoned spaces, rooftops) for culture & wellbeing.
Change licensing regulation to allow more space for entertainmeent on the streets
Don’t lose the benefits of urban living because of short-term restrictions
Create the flexible high-street with changes of use to unlock social and civic potential
Increase community participation in local-led neighbourhood renewal
Use citizen science and journalism - communities gathering information about their area to inform change and transformation
Deploy Tactical Urbanism - Community building, short term, low cost but scalable long term solutions
Promote neighbourhood tourism that supports local people
Active travel only days and zones - discover your neighbourhood
Time to act on
climate change
want to see action
to improve air quality
want more focus and action
on tackling climate change
We are seeing leadership emerging at community level and have found hope that change is possible. The crisis has raised awareness of our fragility, dependency on other countries for energy, food, products, necessity to travel, importance of green space, how air quality links to other health problems and spatial inequalities of crises.
Key Questions
What have we learned from this crisis that will make us better prepared for the next one?

What can we do easily in our own lives to reduce the worst effects of climate change? What should our government and businesses be doing?

What are the key elements of a city that is resilient and prepared for the changes ahead?

How do we make sure the most vulnerable people aren’t going to be the worst affected?
More than Twice the
amount of people
want to reduce their reliance on the car
and take alternative transport (57 vs 137)
What we could do:
2 steps forward…
2 metres apart
Make climate language locally relatable and tangible
Build on current climate momentum to make easy changes and take difficult decisions
Develop a clear climate recovery plan and put climate indicators at the centre of all city decisions
Invest in neighbourhoods and living near to where we work and play
Build on new found local supply ecology
Build more zero carbon homes, encourage sustainable behaviours in existing homes
Divest from fossil fuels (start with key institutions: BCC, UU, QUB, RVH)
Increase capacity of biodiversity and green spaces at neighbourhood levels creating locality
Art and cultural installations to raise awareness of climate action
Offer outdoor learning, working and play environments
Establish a sustainable behaviour change model unique to the city and context
Reframe our thinking on social issues
The crisis has made us think differently about what we most value. Inequality, division, isolation and exclusion has led to huge differences in how people are treated in society.

In adverse circumstances we have coped together. This is resilience in practice. Knowledge gained in adversity can be even more powerful in its aftermath to build back better.
For some people working
from home and furloughed
it has meant more money
in their pocket
of people will make
significant changes to
their lifestyle as a result
of lockdown
Key Questions

>Who are the people that add value in society, beyond clear economic metrics?

>How might we reframe employment to support those that we can’t live without?

>How do we make social policy and obvious choice for cities, not just infrastructure projects?

>How might we maintain more active citizenship?

>How do marginalised groups access content digitally? (What effect does this have on older people and those with socio-economic barriers)

>How do we ensure social and emotional support for those going back to work or education?
What we could do:
2 steps forward…
2 metres apart
Establishment of emotional learning plans for those returning to work and education.
Maintaining community spirit through platforms which express continued shared responsibility for social issues outside of formal structures.
Support for those that don't fall into the box (many don't qualify for economic or emotional support due to categorisation)
Identify new learning gaps and opportunities through every level of education.
Fast track intervention for those vulnerable in housing and accommodation settings that need fast transition into safer environments.
Develop awareness and education around emotional intelligence of some of our key social issues affected by covid.
Build on mindset shift towards ‘key workers' that were once idenitfied as ‘low skilled’ workers.
Adopt flexible working patterns with entitlement for all across public and private sector legislation.
Develop socially-led environments at a local level to support those that need safety and security
Include social metrics and indicators in all economic development projects
Plan for self-isolation post- covid-19 for the many that will remain isolated in communities by circumstances not in their control
Tackle digital exclusion to build connections for communication
A focus on wellbeing
People’s wellbeing and mental health are being tested in ways we couldn’t have imagined. We need to prioritise our most vulnerable in society, as well as the key workers who are over-stretching themselves now for all of us.

The quality of the physical environment and connection to other people will be a big part of looking after our wellbeing. Those who have good access to the things they need nearby, quality green space and streets that are easy to walk and cycle on are feeling healthier, less stressed and appreciating the slower pace of life.
Key Questions
How do we prevent a mental health epidemic from taking off as we ease restrictions? What kinds of things can we put in place to support people now?

How do we support key workers and carers so they don’t burnout?

How can we start the healing process as a community for those that have lost?

How do we intervene on increased domestic health concerns such as violence, drugs and alcohol, social isolation, trauma and anxiety?
of people agree that their
anxiety has increased
1 in 4
people who have been furloughed say they are more anxious and worried….
...whereas it is more like
1 in 10
of key workers and people working from home.
What we could do:
2 steps forward…
2 metres apart
Develop a revised Mental Health Strategy after a better understanding of new concerns learnt during pandemic
Repurpose grey spaces such as vacant land and car parks for pocket parks, reflection gardens and pop-up green spaces and other wellbeing uses at local and city levels.
Drive innovative responses around increased domestic health and wellbeing concerns
Build on and understand self harm and suicide learnings in relation to community cohesion to ensure we reduce behaviour after unlocking.
Identify and provide skills training and digital aid for support teams to intervene in areas of social isolation and anxiety.
Reposition our public spaces already known for negative health connotations by promoting environments that are safe, positive and accessible for wellbeing.
Support health care settings and refuge that need to adapt to provide safe accommodation and sanctuary.
General public bereavement support and awareness for those not known to services.
Open up ‘suspended spaces’ (sports fields, library grounds etc.) in public ownership to increase overall public space available
Innovate in social connection whilst physical distancing and reducing the negative effects of screen time and digital fatigue.
Widen the remit of what is considered ‘health infrastructure’ e.g. beyond hospitals and GPs to parks, streets, social clubs and even the pub!
Digital inclusion to ensure health and wellbeing support
Improve and promote active travel infrastructure to reduce reliance on car and public transport.
Tools for change
Following the 5 themes...Let’s put people at the heart of reinvention
This is how we do it:
Co-design is not a buzzword it is a method of doing (we cannot respond unless those affected are actually involved in the decision making).
Going local is key, can you map your project or response through our following scenario model?
Cross-collaboration without the red tape, get it done! (If covid has taught us anything it's we can cut through the bureaucracy)
Fix things by moving fast
Deviate from the plan (To innovate is to start. If you need know the answer to implement, chances are you're too risk averse!)
If you’re planning for the temporary make sure it leaves a legacy! (you can make positive long term change with permeable responses)
It's not just about economic measures. Let's put culture and wellbeing at the heart of reinvention
Tool 1: Reinvention Indicators
We've developed 25 indicators across our 5 themes:

How does your recovery plan measure up against the following indicators?
How will you measure impact on the following indicators?

What are we missing that you can add?
Culture &
1 Increase opportunity for grassroot culture and creative sectors
2 Develop cultural alternatives and contingencies
3 Increase cultural access, participation and consumption
4 Improved network & partnerships, locally and internationally
5 Develop digital knowledge and skills
Local &
6 Community participation in response planning
7 Empower through regulation change
8 Transfer of learnings to new contexts and scales
9 Increase access to social infrastructure
10 Develop opportunities of neighbourhood tourism
11 Raised awareness and increased action on climate issues
12 Reduced environmental impact
13 Increased green and active infrastructure
14 Sustainable behaviour the default not the choice
15 Increase in digital skills
16 Improves conditions for workers
17 Increase new knowledge and learning
18 Makes cultural and wellbeing value visible
19 Increased inclusion and accessibility to all
Wellbeing 20 Reduction in levels of anxiety and isolation
21 Increased alternatives to clinical settings
22 Improved access to active travel
23 Repurpose grey spaces for wellbeing
24 Improved social connection
25 Increased cognitive stimulation
Tool 2: Reframe Risk
Evaluate the risk of your project in its current form
Run your projects in their current form through the following risk matrix to evaluate the areas that will need rethinking.
Reflect back:
and reduce your risk
after running your
project through the
scenario model at
the next step.
Example: Large City-centre
Cultural Festival
Example: Mental
Health Support Group
Large gathering essential ? High Medium
Close proximity and physical contact likely ? High Medium
Dependency on travel ? Medium High
Dependent on public funding / grant support ? High Medium
Dependence on international logistics ? Medium Low
Need / use during a crisis ? Low High
Ability of transitioning to digital ? High Medium
Potential participant impact if not possible ? Low High

Tool 3: Scenario Modelling
Scenario Model
We've developed a scenario model to inspire change to existing projects during a response...
Run your existing project through the following model, add notes on how it responds to each scale and each theme
How does your project link to or impact each scale? Run the project or recovery response through the model proposing alternatives (Look back at the themes for inspiration).
Think about how your project influences sectors across each scale. Can you adjust the need for physical interaction?
How can your project
tackle social issues?
Does your project accelerate new forms of creativity and culture?
How does your project influence placemaking and community cohesion?
How does
your project
consider climate
and mobility?
How does
your project
offer a focus
on wellbeing?
Let’s not make this the end of the road - help us to build back better
Tell us your thoughts on how we could build on this so we can collaborate and credit your responses and include them in our more detailed version 2.0

Please use our survey stats, references and recommendations:
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